Along with similar trade deals in other parts of the world, the UK is currently working to sign one with the US called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which proponents say will improve trade between the regions, leading to the creation of billions of pounds of business. However British doctors are continuing to pressure the government not to sign the bill, with a large majority now suggesting that TTIP could destroy the NHS by allowing for US privatisation.
This call from doctors follows their annual British Medical Association representative meeting. Doctors present said that TTIP was designed not to improve the cashflow of British businesses and to open up new trade deals, but to allow for US companies to buy up parts of the NHS.
“If there is anything resembling an NHS by the time this treaty is negotiated it won’t survive this treaty,” said GP Dr Henry McKee (via WesternMorning). “The correct motion is to kill this treaty dead, not to tolerate it sneaking in and mugging us.”
Image source: BMA
They also said that the extension of copyright law would make medicines more expensive and could even affect food standards, as it brings the UK's legislation in line with that of the US, allowing for GM food and the use of pesticides currently illegal under British law.
Another fear is that TTIP would allow corporations to sue the British government if any legislation were passed which potentially inhibited future earnings. This has already taken place in El Salvador, where a government policy to protect the environment saw a mining firm sue because it wasn't allowed to strip out a section of rainforest.
Despite all of the concerns raised by the BMA however, prime minister David Cameron has gone out of his way to repeatedly state that the NHS would not be affected at all.
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KitGuru Says: Now we're in a situation where either the majory of British doctors are wrong about TTIP, or David Cameron is lying.
If you want to let your local MP know about your thoughts on TTIP, you can get in touch with them here.